U.S. hopes to establish national standards for forensic evidence
WASHINGTON — The federal government announced on Friday that it will commit a scientific agency and establish a national commission to tackle recurring concerns about the quality of forensic evidence used in criminal courts across the country.
A new National Commission on Forensic Science will draft proposals for the U.S. attorney general and Justice Department and draw from expert groups led by a Commerce Department science agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the departments announced.
“This initiative is led by the principle that scientifically valid and accurate forensic analysis strengthens all aspects of our justice system,” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
The announcement marked the broadest federal commitment to establishing national forensic science standards since the rise of the FBI Laboratory during the last century.
It comes four years after the National Academy of Sciences urged the White House and Congress to remove crime labs from police and prosecutors' control or at least to improve standards for crime labs, examiners and researchers. The academy was responding to a drumbeat of crime lab scandals and hundreds of DNA exonerations over the past two decades.
The new 30-member commission will be co-chaired by Justice Department and NIST officials.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Congress considers dangers of driving high
- Law enforcement, intelligence agencies want to ‘like’ you on social media
- Boy’s body discovered on Air Force cargo jet that was on mission in Africa
- State Dept: ‘No American is proud’ of CIA tactics
- IRS calls right-wing Republicans ‘crazies’ in emails
- Witnesses added for Benghazi hearing
- Warrant issued in Calif. for tuberculosis patient
- N.Y. opera proposes mediation as lockout looms
- Appeals court upholds nation of origin labels for meat
- Rollout of health exchange draws flak from GAO official
- 6 narcotics officers charged with racketeering